Book Review: The Art Of Description by Mark Doty | #SmartReads

TheArtOfDescription

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
June 20, 2017

The Art Of Description is a very refreshing no frills examination of the many ways description can be employed in writing.

Unorthodox in its approach, subtle, and yet quite insightful, Doty not only brings about compelling analysis of a  smattering of writing styles, but also urges the reader to master their individual skill of observation.

On this, Doty cogently writes:

“To some degree, the art of description is the art of perception; what is required, in order to say what you see, is enhanced attention to that looking and the more you look, the more information you get….The resulting visual journey can feel intricate indeed; it makes us see the world before us as composed not of discrete things that don’t touch, but as a continuous realm of interconnected lines.

To be better at description, we have to work at attentiveness.”[1]

Beyond such insight, the author incisively samples the writing of individuals such as Blake, Pound, Swenson, Shelley, Ginsberg, Cummings, et al, thoughtfully ruminating upon particular gems that these writers have left for individuals to glean upon.  Sampling such range in writing allows the reader to see a wider range of styles, each offering a varying, yet exquisite taste, all of which helps solidify the writer’s repertoire.

Another point the Doty centers upon is what can be learned from poetry.  Echoing the actions of Benjamin Franklin, who once used poetry to expand his vocabulary and writing prowess, the author notes:

“Poetry’s project is to use every aspect of language to its maximum effectiveness, finding within it nuances and powers we otherwise could not hear.  So the poet needs to be a supreme handler of the figurative speech we all use every day, employing language’s tendency to connect like and disparate things to the richest possible effects.  In poetry, figuration is at its most sophisticated; condensed, alive with meaning, pointing in multiple directions at once….It’s one of the poet’s primary tools for conveying the texture of experience, and for inquiring into experience in search for meaning.”[2]

Such an examination aids the reader  in gaining a deeper understanding of the depth and precision that may be employed when writing poetry.  Coming to terms with this, one is also able to thoughtfully approach the art of writing from a more mindful perspective that allows individuals a much wider latitude from which to compose a piece.

At another juncture, Doty shares a sentiment that calls to mind Edgar Allen Poe’s wondrous definition of poetry when he said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”  The author beautifully observes that:

“Every achieved poem inscribes a perceptual signature in the world.”[3]

Just as the creative ventures of artists from time immemorial echo into the present, so will the poems of the present echo into the future, continuously leaving dashes of beauty with their very essence.

The Art Of Description is a discerning read in its entirety, that is experienced in its approach, and shrewd in its execution.  If you’re seeking a new writing path that will not only be novel, but will also teach you how to create your very own path, or perhaps even finetune your old one, then begin right here.

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Footnotes:

[1] Mark Doty, The Art Of Description, p. 72.
[2] Ibid., p. 76.
[3] Ibid., p. 21.
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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

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A Mother’s Love

Love.jpg


A Mother’s Love

For every single thing you have done
I’m thankful each and every single day
As a loving Mom, you are the only one
That could blare vividly like sunshine’s ray

You stand by me, no matter the reason
And each of my siblings with great care
Through any and all tempestuous seasons
No matter what, you are always there

Angelic cherubs could not even measure
The pillars of strength you hold inside
Your unending motherly love is my treasure
Through the trials of life, you are my guide

I love you now and through the end of time
Continually echoing beyond the sublime

By: Zy Marquiez

The Trailblazer

TrailBlazer
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 4, 2017

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
– Lao Tzu

Amidst the backdrop of society, there is a bifurcation taking place in many forms, and for many reasons.  Division abounds in certain areas, and quite more trenchantly than ever before.  My contention for this division is that, in part, it’s being lead by an ignorance of many issues.  This ignorance stems from the deliberate dumbing down of society that’s been taking place for nigh a century.  People weren’t always so unaware, but that matters not in this instance.  The question is: if people ARE being dumbed down, and they certainly are as recent evidence suggests, what CAN a person do about it?  It’s a sage question, and there are many answers to that.

How one answers that above question depends on what type of individual a person is.  Regardless, though, the point is that there are options out there for individuals to educate themselves.  We have begun cataloging some of these on this very blog, and will continue to do so as long as the blog runs as a service to humanity and individuals who value education.

Either way, when moving forward through life, there comes a time where the individual reaches an obstacle on a road, such as the possible instance above.  The individual, upon arriving at the fork in the road, has two choices to make.  The individual may ponder each choice at length in order to find out what suits them.  But what if neither choice suits that individual?

Perhaps there’s another option.  Perhaps, the individual, upon arriving at the fork and the road will realize that there aren’t only two options, even though it seems there’s only two options.

People that live within the box, think within the box, and breathe within the box, will only ever be able to see two paths upon the fork on the road.  Incisive individuals will see additional possibilities.

The individual trailblazer will not merely restrict themselves to what others have done before, to merely walk paths paved before them.  The individual trailblazer will seek to blaze a trail – find new paths, create new paths.  Exploring life to the fullest, living outside of the box with no concept of a box is the essence of this individual.  And their creative consciousness is how they unleash this very essence.

Only a trailblazer can create a new path from what seems strewn in obstacles.  And only you can create something so unique nobody has ever done it before.

Perhaps you are on that very path because only you can walk it.

This idea is best encapsulated in the following statement by philosopher, writer, and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson.

That statement is the very definition of the road less traveled, because nobody could have ever traveled it if you’re the first one blazing a trail.

Next time you arrive at a fork in the road, and there seems to be only two paths, ruminate deeply.  Are there only two paths?   Or is it only a mirage?

Perhaps, instead of turning right or turning left on the fork in the road, you notice that there is another possibility that you can create between both paths and you go straight.

Sometimes, what seems like an obstacle is merely a waypoint on your journey.  Don’t be afraid to test the waters, don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown.  The world today is what it is because of people who went beyond previously thought of limits and created nigh everything we know of today.

But to spawn resounding change we must make berth into the future, we must walk our own path.

Thought obstacles may be present, though the path may harbor darkness and you may be unable to see the path, make sure to keep your inner fire going, keep that torch going.  Don’t be afraid to use your very essence, your very goodness, your light, to cast a new road.

Always remember, a path paved in darkness can be followed by light, but a path paved in light cannot be followed by darkness.

Blaze a trail that shines forever and blazes into eternity.
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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

TheWarOfArt
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 11, 2017

The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield is a very innovative way to look at the resistance individuals face when attempting to walk the path of a creatively conscious life.

Because resistance is something that we all face in one way shape or form [i.e. procrastination], this book is a book that stands to help everyone in their own unique way.

Pressfield minces no words in his apt definition of what holds creative individuals back:  Resistance.

Resistance is what leaves most of us feeling like abject failures after we’ve lost multiple bouts with it.  The paradox of this conundrum is that Resistance isn’t as untouchable as it might seem at first blush.  Yes, Resistance is the paradise of procrastination on the creative path, it is the ultimate obstacle, the veritable Darth Vader.   As such, resistance is the epitome of self-sabotage.  But, therein lies the key to this curious conundrum: self.

Maraudering deep within our darkest realm, Resistance is the ultimate enemy which seeks to slay every one of our hopes, and cast limitations into each and every one of our dreams.

As Pressfield points out:

“Resistance is a bully.  Resistance has no strength of its own; it’s power derives entirely from our fear of it.  A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground.”[1]

In other words, if the percipient individual – guided by the self – is to overcome this ruthless opponent, they need to face it head on.  As the saying goes, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Like the ego, it only grows when you feed it, so cutting Resistance of at the pass is crucial.  And this is where this book shines.

The War of Art is split into 3 parts.  In Part One, Pressfield shows a plethora of ways in which Resistance can be better understood.  Thereafter, Book Two features ways that the individual can tackle resistance in myriad ways, while Book Three goes beyond into deeper ruminations on invoking the ever-elusive Muse.  He also covers what separates amateurs from professionals, and an unorthodox – but refreshing – look at the artist and how the artist fits into the grand scheme of things.  The book yields more, but those are the core concepts.

As the author aptly notes, if Resistance couldn’t be overcome, the great works that humanity has wouldn’t be available these days.

If you are an individual who runs head on into Resistance daily – and who doesn’t? – or needs a healthy dose of inspiration, this book will definitely help you handle those in spades.  And if you seek to live a more creative life, whether by hobby or profession, then this is a must read.

Pressfield’s unorthodox approach to invoking the Muse is a breath of fresh air, and one that we can all relate too.  In his own words:

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication.  She approves.  We have earned favor in her sight.  When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings.  Ideas come.  Insights accrete.

“Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven.  And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and creative ally.”[2]

After reading the book, my only regret was that the book was not longer.  That’s the sign of a good book.

If you want an active ally to accompany you in your personal battleground against Resistance and need a spark to light the tinder of action, get this book.
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Source:

[1] Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art, p. 99.
[2] Ibid., p. 108

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: The Elements Of Style [Classic Edition] By William Strunk Jr. & Edited by Richard De A’Morelli

EO
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 3, 2017

As a preamble, what follows is a cursory juxtaposition between The Elements Of Style Classic Edition, which is the main book discussed, and The Elements Of Style 4th Edition.  Having purchased both within the last month, I thought it prudent to comment on some of the differences between both books.

The Elements Of Style [Classic Edition] by William Strunk Jr. and edited by Richard De A’Morelli is meant as a tribute to the work Prof. Strunk undertook over 100 years ago in creating this book.

This particular book features a forward by Richard De A’Morelli titled “Grammar & Style For The 21st Century”, instead of the one written by Roger Angell in the 4th Edition.  The former is eight pages long, while the latter is only two pages long.  De A’Morelli’s foreword sets the stage better in this book than the previous book, even if it’s garrulous.

In contrast, the “Introductory” within the classic edition is subpar when compared to the one written by E.B. White in the 4th Edition, which actually was more informative and amiable and even offered very practical advice, even if short and sweet.  The one great part featured within the Classic Edition edited by De A’Morelli is that the introduction features suggestions on which books writers ought to consider, which can be quite useful.

Curiously, the Elements of Style Classic Edition by De A’Morelli removes a few writing rules without noting why.  Although, the book blurb does mention that there are some rules which are now obsolete, and there are editorial notes which focus on that, the actual reasons are still lacking.

One significant improvement in the Classic Edition is that after each Rule is mentioned and examples are shown, it’s much easier to discern which are the good examples and which ones are not.

In both books, the first six rules are exact, although worded differently in the newer “Classic Edition”.  Thereafter, beginning on the 7th Rule, it begins to differ.  The newer Classic Edition edits rule number 7, and begins slotting latter rules earlier.  In the 4th Edition, Rule #7 is:

“Use a colon after an independent clause to introduce a list of particulars, an appositive, amplification, or an illustrative quotation.”[1]

As a researcher and someone who writes often, this rule is quite useful and omitting it feels almost like the writer is being sold short.  A writer not knowing how to use a colon is akin to a soldier missing some of their equipment in the battlefield.  The Elements Of Style [4th Ed.] By William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White notes:

“A colon tells the reader that what follows is closely related to the preceding clause.  The colon has more effect than the comma, less power than the semicolon, and more formality than the dash.”[2]

The removal of that rule is almost akin to removing the comma or any other punctuation device.  Perhaps it’s not as trenchant, but it’s quite notable nonetheless because of the versatility the colon features.

Another rule omitted in the Classic Edition edited by De A’Morelli is the use of the dash.  Without writing a lengthy paragraph on this, the omission of this rule is almost as bad as the omission of the colon, and outright removes from the writer another tool they might employ in writing, a very useful one at that.

At least two more rules were removed, although can’t recall which ones they are.  The whole point of this is that there are at least two important rules that are missing, and that’s two too many.

My main issue with this book is that it removes certain rules and doesn’t even mention why.  The colon and dash by themselves are great tools for writing.  Omitting them with not even a mention is very glaring and leaves a lot to be desired.  Because of that, the rules from both books do not line up and cannot.

That said, De A’Morelli as an editor of the Classic edition of The Elements Of Style does an adequate job of staying above water and stating what Strunk Jr. had said different words, which could be useful to some.

Be that as it may, and even though the Classic Edition features a study guide, I still think the 4th Edition by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is superior to the Classic Edition that is edited by De A’Morelli.  Don’t give me wrong, I am glad to own both, but I don’t feel like I gained much by the purchase of the latter book.  In fact, had I not know about the first book, I would be missing out on two vital rules, as shown above, that are crucial to the writing process, and which I employ almost in every piece.  That makes me wonder what else the editor might have overlooked.

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[1] William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White, The Elements Of Style [4th Ed.] pg. 7.
[2] Ibid., pp 7-8.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

300 Word Memories #6 – Convalescing

solitude2
300 Word Memories #5 – Friendship

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 21, 2017

Sometimes, in life, you just need to slow down, pump the breaks.

Although I personally don’t do anything I would consider ‘fast’ paced, sometimes I get so caught up in getting things done [don’t we all?] that I forget to take moments for myself.  Over time, I have learned that these moments are integral to staying fresh and keeping a great outlook on life, and also in keeping perspective of yourself and everything around you.

With experience, this perspective has taught me quite a few things about life and myself.  Regarding my life, it’s always been a point for me not to waste time, as this post here hints, and in being as efficient as possible.  That idea is great, and it does have its benefits, it’s just that sometimes we get saw caught in the tide of today that we forget about the lessons of yesterday and about the possibilities of tomorrow.  How we all get to our present moments matter, and if an individual arrives at their present moment in a full ready state, then it not only feels like a lot is getting done, but they feel like the time was worth something.

If, on the other hand, it feels that the individual was  running around the rat wheel, depleting their energy without much aim or direction, then it can feel like a giant waste of time, or perhaps that a person is selling themselves short.  That is why is crucial of knowing yourself, your boundaries, how you operate, what makes you efficient, and what doesn’t.  These ideas should be front and center in introspection.

At the moment, the one thing that’s been lacking for me this last week or so is rest.   Not a whole lot of rest, but enough that it makes a difference.  When a person misses an hour or two of sleep for nigh a week straight, it’s time to take the next turn off on the road and book a hotel.

For me, it’s not that I haven’t been getting things done, it’s just that it feels that if I continue with just one more day of anything, without putting my health first, then, I stand to have my health spiral out of control.

That has taught me that whatever you do, on a personal basis just make sure that you’re working with a full tank a gas, mentally, physically, and even spiritually, and that you’re not ill-equipped to venture into the morrow without at least a full and ready version of yourself.

Another additional issue is that if you’re lacking ample rest, you can’t just usually get one day’s of sleep and be done with it.  You need to make sure to hit the refilling station regularly and do what you can before you really end up bottoming out and issues begin multiplying like rabbits.  The last thing anyone wants is to screw up simply because you were doing too much, or trying to hard.  Irony would surely be waiting to give a raised eyebrow at that one.

But when you’re rested and prepared, and your mind is clear, then anything is possible.

Each of us has a long journey ahead of us.  Might as well carry it out with the best version of yourself possible.  Because if not, how else are we going to live life to the fullest?

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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

If I Were You

DarkRoad2

If I Were You

If I were you I’d stay away from me
I would make berth to foreign lands
And journey thence to boundless seas

If I were you I’d be extremely careful
Since my soul’s barely now a fragment
While yours is completely whole

If I were you I would run away into tomorrow
Cashing in your life’s winnings
Before the tides of life morph us to sorrow

If I were you I’d keep the Sun near
To protect your very fragile heart
From my frigidly fierce frontier

If I were you I would purchase soul insurance
Because all I could provide is my essence
While you need more than my fragmented soul’s assurance

If I were you I’d run to Heaven from my Devil
For my life is the definition of the Road Less Traveled
And my DNA code is true Rebel

If I were you I’d learn to dance in darkness
For your heart is full of joy
But my mind is wholly heartless

If I were you I’d learn to play with fire
And build immunity to flames
For all my life’s misfires

If I were you I’d read tree leaves for hints
That heed of lurid lightning flashes
Before my thunder leaves footprints

If I were you I’d forget our passions swiftly
Before they again fuse us in ardor
And our doubts thence crush us quickly

If I were you I’d seek safety and not wonder
About what could have perhaps been
Before your soul is torn asunder

If I were you I’d heed this honest warning
Because at the end of all our choices
We would surely both be mourning

If I were you I’d run like hell straight back
For your soul deserves endless joyous wonders
But my heart merely provides a shack

If I were you I’d wake from your daring dream
For our lives would be a nightmare
The most tremulous extreme

If I were you I’d wish upon the stars
For us to stay away forever
Thence begin writing our memoirs

If I were you I would simply turn the page
Forget about everything we are
After you promptly disengage

If I were you I’d stay away from me
Because no matter what would happen
We would never both be free

By: Zy Marquiez
TheBreakaway